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Trump's Conflicts of Interest
Featured Series: Trump's Conflicts of Interest
Donald Trump's international web of businesses creates unprecedented potential for conflicts of interest and corruption. And some picks for his administration might have to face their own...

SpaceX Just Landed A Rocket On A Tiny Barge In The Middle Of The Ocean

This is the first time SpaceX has managed to safely land a rocket on a barge, and it's a big step forward for the company's reusable rocket plans.
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SpaceX has gotten pretty good at launching its Falcon 9 rocket into space, but it's never quite managed to bring it back down for a safe landing on the water. Until now.

That cheering is the sound of progress. SpaceX has successfully landed a Falcon 9 on the ground before, but landing in the middle of the ocean on a tiny floating barge is a much trickier achievement.

If SpaceX can consistently replicate this success, it will be much easier to reuse a rocket for multiple missions. An ocean landing costs much less in terms of fuel and offers much more flexibility than guiding a rocket back to a specific landing site on the ground.

The water landing wasn't even SpaceX's main mission; the rocket's main goal was to launch the Dragon cargo vessel carrying supplies and experiments for the International Space Station into low-Earth orbit. That, too, went off without a hitch.

"In order for us to really open up access to space, we've got to achieve full and rapid reusability," SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said in a press conference.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has made reusable space rockets a major focus of the company. He told reporters the company plans to reuse this Falcon 9 rocket in another mission in a few months.

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